The Playgoer: Off Broadway Gambles on 20 Bucks

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Off Broadway Gambles on 20 Bucks

It became apparent last summer that Off Broadway--or at least commercial Off Broadway--is facing a crisis. I know this because people who work there kept saying it!

And now the rumors of producers and artists huddling in corners holding strategy meetings seem to have been true, as the announcement of something called the "Off Broadway Brainstormers" attests. Their site is under construction, so stay tuned. Basically their aspiration seems to be to grow into the junior version, the little sibling to the Broadway trade and lobbying group, LATP.

Meanwhile, they're rolled out their first idea: a one-week $20 rush ticket at select shows. At 20 minutes to curtain. March 4-11.

Wow, how confident!

Well, it's something at least. But imagine if they announced: "All seats at all these theatres, $20, for one week. Advance or at the door." Maybe make it cash just to add some downside--and to get the theatres some immediate flow!

Yes, a lot of shows would lose money for that given week. But that would be a rush, I bet. And one that will encourage more people to come back than waiting all day just to be turned away at 7:40 from Jewtopia.

So mark your calendars March 4-11. Actually some quite notable shows are participating. The complete options are listed here, but let me save you some time:

The Voysey Inheritance
Room Service
Some Men (if you like McNally)
Mary Rose
Gutenberg: The Musical
The Fever


As for Jewtopia, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, and My Mother's Italian My Father's Jewish and I'm in Therapy... you'll have to make up your own mind of what 20 bucks is worth to you.

1 comment:

Dr. Cashmere said...

Your caveats--which I agree with--aside, this is a big step forward for off-Broadway.

It's a shame that companies like Second Stage, Atlantic and the Vineyard should have to think of themselves as a single, collective brand.

But the alternative is for "Broadway" to continue to suck up all the oxygen.